Yesterday evening I carefully wandered off from my camp, doing my best to not get lost. I walked down a path of night-lit time temples and played with my camera settings to get dreamy looking shots. As I approached the last temple on the row a young man invited me in. He wanted me to meet Anand, his guru. Anand, a very composed 65 year old man with dancing eyes, was holding court around a small fire. He immediately acknowledged me and asked me to sit. He was decked in pretty bracelets and necklaces and popped a variety of questions my way. After awhile I got up and explored more of the temple, as I was about to leave he led me into a private room and introduced me to a couple from Holland who have been visiting him over the last 20 years. They began to explain that unlike other gurus he's a "social worker," he offers private consultations on a variety of worldly matters often to do with sex and marriage. We all chatted about the challenges young Indians face re: family expectations vs. their own dreams. Next he led me into another room and had his cook fix me some chapati and dahl. (I did my best to eat a little though honestly I was not hungry for food.) Then he began to ply me with Ferrer Roche hazelnut chocolates and bottled mineral water and we began to laugh. I sensed that he could follow my mood. That I made sense to him. He invited to stay at his temple...I was tempted. I took some pictures of him...and afterwards when I'd look at them, I'd get this feeling of calm and delight when I'd see those dancing eyes and knowing smile.
I get it! Never knew I'd find such an appetite in myself for such a connection. Very sweet!